The Fight Against Boxwood Blight

The Fight Against Boxwood Blight

Boxwoods are an extremely popular shrub for homeowners. They’re easy to maintain, resistant to deer, and grow well in a variety of conditions. However, they now have one weakness: bloxwood blight.

In the late 1990’s, this previously unseen disease began to hit boxwoods in Europe. It made the jump to North America in 2011 and since then has been found in many states. The disease is caused by a fungus known as Calonectria pseudonaviculata that infects boxwoods.

How it spreads

Because the disease is fungal, boxwood blight generally spreads via spores on animals, by wind, and on infected tools. The fungus can stay alive and produce spores in leaves years after they have fallen, so fallen material also poses a danger.

Symptoms

If you have boxwood shrubs on your property, keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Circular dark spots on leaves
  • Rapid browning of leaves
  • Black streaks on twigs
  • Leaf loss on lower parts of branch, moving upwards

How to avoid boxwood blight

Though there isn’t a cure right now, there are things you can do to prevent infection and keep it from spreading.

If you spot symptoms that you think may be boxwood blight. prompt treatment is key to ensuring that the disease doesn’t spread to other plants in your yard or neighborhood. Get in touch with a certified arborist who can confirm the infection.

From there, treatment includes fungicides and selective pruning. Any infected material should be burned to minimize the spread.